Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

Drinking or fattening oneself to death is a liberty

March 14, 2013

Meddlesome preferences are everywhere in the early 21st century. David Cameron in Britain and Michael Bloomberg in New York City epitomize the increased willingness of elitist busy-bodies to impose their preferences upon those who elected them into high office.

In today’s left-leaning Financial TimesJohn Gapper – the name itself sounds suitably disgusting – openly supports the meddlesome over the coerced, justifying his interventionist predilections inappropriately with reference to John Stuart Mill’s great essay On Liberty. With florid prose typical of such invaders of freedom, Gapper writes as follows:

“Both the mayor of New York,who wants to limit the size of sugary drink cups in restaurants and cinemas, and the UK prime minister, who sought minimum unit price for alcohol, lost the argument. They were portrayed as social nannies pushing policies that discriminated against the poor and minorities, who deserve some pleasures. They were still right. Societies should try to limit alcoholism and obesity, as they have cracked down on tobacco use. Freedom matters and the ideal policy is both effective and unobtrusive, but they both managed to tread the line between illiberalism and irresponsibility. As with tobacco proscriptions, they will probably be accepted in the end. John Stuart Mill defined it nicely in On Liberty: ‘The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.’ ” John Gapper, ‘Drinking yourself to death is not a human right’, Financial Times, March 14, 2013

I have no problem with the quote from Mill. However, Gapper proceeds to mis-interpret this message disgracefully. He claims that obesity consequential on gulping down Big Gulps, and alcoholism, consequential on imbibing excessive quantities of alcohol, harm others because they raise the cost of health care across society. Let us assume that they do so. The harm that follows occurs because governments impose socialized health care upon society. They are the ones who should be castigated for invading Mill’s principle. Re-privatize health care across all age groups, and require every individual to stand on his own money-bags and there is no harm to others. Where there is – for example through drunk driving accidents or destruction of fragile furniture, simply require the offender to compensate through the court system.And make sure that court costs are fully covered by those who lose the case.

In any event, Gapper may well be hoist by his own petard. If obesity and alcoholism shorten life-spans seriously, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancers and strokes will be reduced in incidence. Maybe Gapper should be taxed for keeping himself alive sufficiently long as to expose society to the exceptionally high health costs of the really old. I would not recommend such action, but rather would confront Gapper with the full costs of his longevity. But Gapper realistically should clap a tax on his own frugality in order not to be branded as a complete hypocrite.

David Cameron and George Osborne hold the high ground

December 5, 2012

Politics is an area of activity that lends itself to the gutter. Most short term incentives are for politicians to lie and cheat, in order to attract special interest support, by imposing bad  policies that will hurt freedom and mar prosperity. In too many instances – the United States is a current example – this is the road to Hell.

So it is very refreshing today to read that Britain’s two top politicians – Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne – each in his own way is holding to the high ground and paving the way for a better future for their countrymen.

David Cameron today announced his opposition to the key recommendation of the Report on the Press by Lord Leveson, an enemy of individual liberty if there ever was one. Any one who recommends that press freedom should be regulated by government is a progressive promoter of serfdom. And Leveson does so with a fervor that indicates a seriously deranged, meddlesome mind.

David Cameron’s principled stand on this issue reflects the very best of statesmanship. for he confronts enemies of freedom on both sides of the aisle. Far right Tories and far left Progressives ache to shut down free speech and impose their own bigotries on society.  Their’s is the  road to Stalin’s mis-named  USSR,  Mao’s mis-named People’s Republic of China and Hitler’s correctly named Third Reich. God damn them all.

George Osborne today announced that his austerity battle to end Britain’s debt crisis will continue despite the sea of enemies that confronts his austerity program.  Of course, a government that insists on rolling back the state in the middle of a world recession will impose short-term job losses.  Most of those job losses have a zero if not a negative marginal product, and for that reason alone, are to be applauded. Tough medicine in the short-term will bring huge benefits in the longer-term, and by the longer-term, I do not mean a time frame in which we are all dead.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis many British economists and financial reporters clearly have taken a turn to the hydraulic Keynesian, progressive left. I read the Financial Times daily to remind myself what Pravda used to be like before the Evil Empire disintegrated from within. Ironically, Pravda now infringes copyright in order to make my monograph on the 2008 financial crisis available for free across Russia.  With supposed friends like the FT, capitalism needs no enemies.

Well capitalism and freedom – and I surely do not extend the nouns to embrace their crony parasites – have a good friend in George Osborne.

Bravo! David Cameron and George Osborne.

United Kingdom did not suffer double-dip recession

October 26, 2012

Britain’s economy grew 1 per cent between the second and third quarters of 2012 according to official statistics, following two quarters of allegedly negative growth.  Keynesian economists across the globe – most notably the left-leaning Lawrence Summers – have been gloating and salivating about this so-called double-dip recession – in the Financial Times and the Washington Post claiming that Britain’s austerity program was the cause and that some big-time government spending was the absolutely essential solution.

In reality, it now appears that the British economy has been growing, albeit sluggishly, throughout 2012. Most notably, the extremely long Jubilee Bank Holiday distorted the statistics. Once the distortions are accounted for, the economy will be seen to have grown steadily at about 0.3 per cent throughout the first three quarters of 2012.

No economist, Keynesian or other, would expect an austerity program immediately to elevate the growth rate of an economy. As public sector employment declines it takes time for private enterprise to pick up the slack. However, as the debt crisis diminishes, and as debt downgrades are avoided, interest rates remain lower than would otherwise be the case. And that is the oxygen required for private venture capital to create long-term jobs and wealth.

Green shoots are discernible in the latest statistics. The UK service sector grew at a relatively vigorous 1.3 per cent in the third quarter. Output in production industries – including oil extraction and manufacturing – rose 1.1 per cent. Only construction output declined, and that is predictable given the over-expansion of that sector during the last Labor Government.

Well done, Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, for maintaining a steady course through the transition squalls. You are now in calmer waters due, not least, to the steadfastness of your commitment to cleaning up the debt crisis that you inherited from your predecessors.

Capital flight from France

July 1, 2012

President Francois Hollande, his Socialist Party securely in control of the whole of France, is now free to impose his socialist agenda upon his country.  The top rate of income tax will rise to 75 percent, a wealth tax will be imposed, inheritance taxes will be tightened, while the age of retirement for  the lazy among his population will be lowered from 62 (itself ludicrously low) to 60 years of age.

For those who remain in France, the specter of Greece now walks the land. Without any program for public spending cuts, in a country facing a rising problem with respect to its sovereign debt, Hollande’s plan now relies on one instrument alone:

“I shall soak the rich until the pips squeak”

Unfortunately, for Hollande, the English Channel represents but a small obstacle to many of France’s rich, or potential rich, escaping the vise that he is about to impose. Major French companies – Givenchy, Peuguot, and Dior among them – may relocate to London as soon as the early fall of 2012. British Prime Minister David Cameron, famously has offered to receive them in the manner accorded by Sir Walter Raleigh to Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Francoise Hollande – a low-brow socialist by all accounts – most likely is not widely read in the literature of laissez-faire capitalism.  Before he attempts to squeak those pips out of his juiciest fruits, he might care to glance through the pages of Ayn Rand’s  Atlas Shrugged.

He might well worry that England’s London is a much more attractive environment than the Colorado Mountains for those who resolve their victimization by walking out on those who wish to live unproductively off their hard-earned wealth. The worthless majority may have the votes.  But they do not have the where-with-all to maintain living standards stolen from their betters, once those betters show them clean pairs of heels as they exit to relative  economic freedom.

Europe’s financial capital is surely much more attractive to the brightest and most productive citizens of France than is a City of Lights that surely will be extinguished under a torrent of government-induced debt.

Give us more, Monsieur Hollande, if only pour encourager les autres.

 Perfidious Albion welcomes those who flee your shores.


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